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  5. "I am not a woman, but a man."

"I am not a woman, but a man."

Translation:Femina non sum, sed vir.

September 13, 2019



Would it be correct to use Ego in there? What would the sentence be?


Yes, but you don't have to use it. Latin is similar to it's child language Spanish meaning you can drop the pronoun.


Ou, Thanks for clarifying it :)


Thanks for clarifying


Duo accepted my answer of "Ego non sum femina, sed vir."


Why was my answer of "Ego sum non femina sed vir" incorrect then? How does the sentence structure work?


Because what your translations translates to is " I, I am not a woman, but a man." "Sum" is the singular form of " To Be" and Ego is the personal pronoun. Also, in Latin the structure typically is set up as; subject, direct object, and then the verb. Unlike English where the direct object goes after the verb.


That was my answer as well!


My guess is that the negation must precede the verb and you have the negation after it.


yet they marked me wrong for the same thing



Latin, like most of its child languages, drops pronouns unless the pronoun is required for avoidance of ambiguity or for emphasis. The exception amongst its child languages is French where the pronoun is not omitted. Spanish, Italian and Romanian all drop the pronoun when it is the subject. In Portuguese the object pronoun can also be dropped when the context allows. The variation in verb conjugations allows the pronoun required to be understood from the form that the verb takes which makes it redundant. In French, the difference in the form of the verb taken by each pronoun is less apparent (especailly in spoken rather than written French) than in the other romance languages so the pronoun is not omitted.


I think you would have to format it differently, and say "I am a man, not a woman"


No need to format it differently. With or without the subject-pronoun, the order can be the same.

It's only more emphatic.


It is more common in everyday speech to drop the pronoun.


but thats not everyday speach its either an announcement, or the correction of a very awkward error


I had “Non femina sum, sed vir” – does “non” need to be next to the verb?


Yes. The negative particle needs to be right before the word it negates.
So, normally,the verb: It's a good practice.

(Sometimes it's just before, not right before, separated by other words, but it's advanced stylistic in poesy, so not our beginners' business)


What is wrong with "Femina non sum, sed sum vir"?


It was counted wrong because the sentence is "I'm not a woman, but a man." You said "I'm not a woman, but I am a man." It would have been correct if you did not include the 2nd sum.


Please report it if it's not accepted. It's correct.


‘Fēmina nōn sum, sed vir’ was flagged with a message to mind the accents. Duolingo should update this to be the other way around. I have previously said I am willing to help updating the database, but still haven’t received any replies.


They won't include the accents now, as it would need an update of the whole course. I hope one day they'll add macrons, but it can't be done the way they add alternative sentences to the database, as different word orders. Just don't use the macrons for now.


I hope they change this as well. As someone just starting, its confusing to have macrons in my Latin textbook, but i can't practice them here.


Why is "Non mulier sum, sed vir." not correct?


Because that negates the subject, not the verb.


Because Duolingo is teaching a language that they are learning themselves...


What is wrong with: "Sum non femina, sed vir"?


Your negative particle is probably better if placed immediately before the verb, to show what it negates = the verb.


Word order in Latin likes to keep the verb at the end of a sentance. In a sentance with two subjects, like this, it often puts the verb with the second not the first, as we do in English. "Femina non, sed vir sum" would be a fine way to say this.


That is not true when the verb is a copula.

With "sum", the verb is very often in the middle of the sentence, or even in the first position of the sentence.


Woman not, but man am [I]


Thank you, this is good information to know.


I had the multiple choice buttons, and one of the decoy answers had "mulier" for "woman" - bonus points for referencing other Romance cognates!


Wrote "Ego sum non femina, sed vir" but got it wrong. As a total beginner with an understanding of general language and grammar concepts, I'm not sure if I'm wrong here or if the question just didn't accept my word order. From the other comments, I see that this answer may be valid, but it might be an awkward phrasing.

Doing the question again, "Ego femina non sum, sed vir" was accepted (and I know that as in Spanish, the article is optional). I guess I'm wondering if "non sum" as a subphrase is preferred. In essence, when negating a phrase such as Ï am not X", whether the negation ("non") preceding the verb directly instead of the subject or object is the standard rule, even if it can be bent.


It's probably better to negate the verb rather than "femina", it is what you've done in your sentence.

It's not an article, but a personal pronoun (subject).


Why isn't "Sum non Femina, sed vir" considered a right answer? Are there specific sentence construction rules in Latin?


Can someone explain why "Sum non femina, sed vir" doesn't work for "I am not a woman, but a man"? Sum means "I am", non means "not", femina means "woman", sed means "but" and vir means "man". So what I wrote should roughly translate to "I am not a woman, but a man." So why did I get it worng?



Perce-neige gave some explanations earlier in this thread.

Basically, it is better to place the negation before the term it negates. Here, what is negated is the verb "sum" so "non" has to be placed before it : "Femina non sum" (or "Non sum femina" in a less "canonical" order).

If "non" is located before "femina", we understand that it is "femina" we negate so "Non femina sum" or "Sum non femina" would translate roughly as "I am a not-woman".


Why "Femina ego non sum" is not ok? Looking forward to your reply :) Thanks


Hmm. Technically, I guess that would work. Pronouns are hardly ever used by themselves in Latin though, because the conjugation of verbs imply them. "Sum" means I am. Est means "He is". Es means "You are". etc.


Just report it if it's not accepted. Grammatically, it works.


Why does "Femina" come first? Like, as opposed to "puella" coming last in "Corinna non est puella"



Most of the time, Latin follows that order : Subject - Object - Verb So for the sentence at hand, it would be "(Ego) femina non sum", with the subject pronoun most often omitted except for emphasis.

But this is not an obligation; word order in Latin is pretty fluid. The declensions allow us to tell which word is subject, which is object... so we do not need word order to determine the functions. So "Corinna non est puella" is possible too, even if a more "canonical" order would be "Corinna puella non est".


Why not "sum non femina"?


It's pretty much like French but the pronunciation is different and i have a question guys I'm kinda confused Should i learn Spanish first then Latin or Spanish then Latin Hope someone would answer ;-;


I think this question is too hard. We don't know proper sentence structure at this level yet


latin word order does not matter


I wrote: sum non femina, sed vir. What wrong with sum non instead of non sum?


It's funny how Duo only cares about teaching the correct word order by brute force.


"Sum non femina, sed vir" was marked as wrong, could someone tell me why? I'm learning latin and thought the order was fairly flexible.


Can someone please explain why the sentence is structured like that?


Why not "ego non est Femina"?


"I is not a woman" you can't say "I is"


Could I write "Non femina sed vir sum"?


Why would "sum non femina" work as well?


Would "sum non femina" work as well?


Would "sum non femina" work as well?


Would "sum non femina" work as well?


What exactly is sum here ? Can we even say ego non femina , sed vir


Can you say

"Ego sum non femina sed vir"


Ego should be right no?


Please include more audio


Stressing personal idenity over simple non femininity I can up with this: "Ego non est feminia, sed vir." Comments?


so they give me the sentence agsin and instead of trying to express the english in the latin i try to shrink the english & fit it into latin

"non feminia sed vir"

and thats no good either. I do not understand.



You forgot the verb, "sum". And "woman" is "femiNA", not "feminIa".

I hope that helps.



Could you explain the problem you are facing in a more detailled way?


Latin doesn't have a fixed word order, I just test Duolingo, but they failed. I should be able to put this phrase in any order as long "sed vir" is last. Terrible


That is not correct. Word order matters, but not the way people often think. There was by the time of Classical Latin an established standard for (at least) written Latin, preferring SOV (subject, object, verb). Further, prepositions should be prefixed; adverbs had their place based on function; and so on. Poetry is a different game, and should not be confused with regular spoken Latin; if everyone spoke like the poets, it would be something akin to having Yoda-speak mixed with Chinese sentence structure. So yes, word order matters; deviation from the standard word order emphasised different parts of the sentence.


Latin uses emphasis, but that isn't always true for every sentence. Here is an example of a short phrase from an 8th century Latin bible:

Genesis 1:3: "Dixitque Deus: Fiat lux. Et facta est lux."


That's from Jerome's Latin rendering of the Bible, so that would be fourth century, or early fifth. That pattern of VS(O) seems to be very common in his Bible, I don't know whether it is imitating some feature of Hebrew or what, but it's not typical of his other writings, which are very classical in character.

Your point stands that variations in word order are frequent and not necessarily due to shifts in emphasis. Sometimes a word order is chosen for rhythm's sake, or variety's, or clarity's, or to create an artful pattern or a sense of balance, or sometimes to upset a sense of balance. This is true of all registers of Latin, though in poetry various disruptions are regular that would otherwise be unthinkable.


'Light' is now in the final position being preceded by the verb 'to be'


We're all testing Duolingo: this course is in beta. If it fails your test, help it improve.


I don't know why you are so severe with this app. When you should know the way Duo works, you seem to have attended many courses here, so I hope you do.

Duo adds the alternative solutions when you use the report button to add them to the database, so: what is the problem, and why are you so negative? It's a hard work, and reading hard comments is painful.


Should "Sum non femina, sed vir." Also be accepted? Please explain.


Please, read the previous comments before posting, because this question has been asked several times on this page.

Use the "non" usually before the verb, because the "non" negates the word coming right after.


That translates as "Not woman I am, but man". So I guess technically, but it's really weird.

Typically 'non' precedes what it's referring to. You have it paired with the noun instead of the verb.


Not meeeeeeeeeeeeee


Would be nice if these ones were read aloud when touched. I am still a bit unfamiliar with pronunciation.


With there was a "pre-lesson" to this, somewhat unexpected structure.


Ego non means I am not so why would it be Femina non sum sed vir and not Ego non sum femina sed vir


why is sum non femina sed vir not correct


"sum non femina, sed vir" I know 'sed vir' is correct, but shouldn't the first half be too?


I didn't know Latin had lower case letters, the letter 'u', and commas. I though it would be written "FEMINA NON SVM SED VIR".


In Latin, is it true that if the pronoun is dropped the subject is always "I"?



If a pronoun, the subject is often dropped. You can deduce what it is by looking at the verb, which takes a different form depending on the subject.


Would it also be right "Ego sum non femina, sed vir"??


Latin has word order


Word order does not matter in Latin. Duolingo doesnt always understand that.


I know it would be more accurate to have the verb last such as: femina non sum, but isn't still fine if it isnt in that particular order?


Latin word order is flexible, meaning you can shake things up for emphasis. The standard word order in classical times was subject–object–verb, a word order which seems to have been established for the purpose of legal writing. Nōn sum fēmina would in English be something like ‘Woman I am not’; Sum nōn fēmina would be close to ‘Not am I [a] woman’. There is in English, too, some—with regards to order of words—freedom. But as you can see, it quickly gets weird, calling for attention, when you overdo it; ‘Sum nōn fēmina’ is a good example in Latin if overdoing it.

There is, however extremes in classical Latin too. There is a story of someone who had been looking forward for the longest time to hearing a magistrate speak. (Might it have been the speaker was Cicero? I cannot remember.) When the husband came home the wife asked how it was, to which he replied it wasn’t all that much: ‘I left after half an hour; he hadn’t gotten to the verb yet.’


That is not true when the verb is "sum". (a copula)

The "sum" is found most of the time in the middle fo the sentence, (and at the beginning).


It seems weird that the direct translation is: Woman I am not but I am a man.



Not really weird. Latin just has a different usual word order than English. That word order is usually Subject-Object-Verb. But it is quite fluid in Latin: the declensions allow us to determine the grammatical function of a word and word order is thus less important.


Ego sum non femina, sed vir. - What about this?


No, that means human.


I thought word order does not matter, like in Greek


It's flexible, but it's not free.

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